Having already caught attention in their native Los Angeles for their charming, baroque pop-esque sound, Wartime Recitals are bound to go to bigger and better places now with the release of their self-titled debut EP, which you can stream below. From the beautiful piano parts of “Bad Dances” and “Short Hair” to the delicate vocal harmonies of “Ribbons”, Wartime Recitals displays a kind of joyous spirit that makes it an effortless listening experience.
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Iris Belson and Joseph Walker go by the name Linus Young as a recording duo. Walker says of the band’s moniker, “Linus Young was a family friend who lived in New Orleans. He was an older gentleman, but decided to stay during Hurricane Katrina. His house ended up flooding and he drowned, and so we picked up that name to keep his legacy alive. He was a very sweet soul. It felt like the right fit.” And pay tribute to Young the band does; Category 5, Linus Young’s debut LP, is a bold statement of intent that’s both very much a product of its time and constantly thinking about how to do things differently.
It’s not often that a songwriter writes a song about a particular instrument; but, then again, Lisa O’Neill isn’t the kind of songwriter that comes along all that often. O’Neill’s latest studio LP, Same Cloth or Not, displays her affinity for atypical lyrical and musical ideas. On “Apiana”, accompanied only by a solo piano, she sings things that invite the listener to decipher what she’s saying. The song’s unusual chord patterns draw the ear and mind even further in.
Arum Rae (formerly known as White Dress) is set to release her new EP, entitled Waving Wild, following a year of waiting for its release while she was being courted by a major label. Recorded at Public Hi-Fi in Austin (the studio of Spoon drummer Jim Eno) and remixed/mastered by John Congleton (notable for his recent production credit on Swans’ To Be Kind), Waving Wild EP is a long-awaited solo release from an artist who has made a significant splash as a collaborator. Most memorably, she collaborated with John Paul White (of the Civil Wars fame) in writing “If I Didn’t Know Better”, the season one theme song for the smash hit program Nashville.
Memotone & Soosh, comprised of William Yates (Memotone) and Soroosh Khavari (Soosh), is definitely one of the most fascinating collaborations of 2014. The duo’s reflective and melancholy sound is informed in large part by its diverse range of instruments. Memoosh, the duo’s new album, was made using “a mixture of live instrumentation (guitars, piano, cello, zither, drums, clarinet, synths and numerous others) coupled with effect boxes, samplers, vocals and field recordings, influenced by everything from random static and buzz, to a beautiful early morning rain or the bass thud of a closing door.”